China Soup Bowls and Plastic Spoons – Hospitality gone wrong

Our sweet, elderly neighbor passed away two years ago and her children are in the process of selling her house. In their cleaning out and packing things up the daughter asked me if I would like her Mother’s china. I was so honored and thrilled to be gifted with this beautiful 12 piece place setting of  china.

Did you notice the totally adorable soup bowls? They have two handles. I’ve never seen such cuteness! I’ve had the china all of one week and we used it for the first time tonight. And totally not in the right way. Like for real.

We ate ice cream in the cutie patootey soup bowls.

With our new’ish neighbors.

I know. Tacky.

Here’s what’s tackier. I do dinner invites all wrong. First of all I have to get over myself and thinking everything has to be perfect before we have people over. And then when I finally do that I still don’t do it right. How’s this for a dinner invite: Show up at door step of neighbors at 6:15pm and say, “Ya’ll want to come over for dinner? Like right now. If you do we’d love to have you. If you don’t it’s okay too. We have to pick our kid up at 7:00pm so we don’t have long.”

Somebody slap me and say, “awkward.”

But my friend Amy Lively  has taught me much about loving our neighbors and I haven’t quite learned the “not being weird” part yet but I’m getting there. I hope she would just say, “Nah, not awkward or weird – you’re just inviting people where you are and where they are. Keep at it!”

My neighbors stared at me for a few seconds and then looked at each other and said, “Yeah, sure, we’ll come. Give us 5 minutes.”

I walked across the yard and back into our house and Randy said, “Melody, you don’t have enough food. That’s a tiny pork tenderloin. You need two.” And I realized he was so stinking right. There were three guests and four of us. We didn’t have enough. What the world was I thinking?!!

I’d heard of missionaries swearing their spaghetti had  multiplied at large gatherings where they didn’t have enough food. Of course I’ve read about the loaves and fishes in the Bible but I’ve never personally prayed and ask God to multiply our food before. But tonight I found myself praying for the multiplication of pork tenderloin. All I could do was pray and hope for the best.

I’m happy to say it worked out perfectly. I’m not sure if God shrank our appetites or multiplied the food. Either way, the food was enough. There were no leftovers but to my knowledge nobody went to bed hungry tonight. We had a great time talking and just being together. I left and picked up our son and came back and we talked for another hour and a half. And it was enjoyable.

Then I brought out the china soup bowls and told them about our former next door neighbor and how this was her china.

I scooped up the ice cream and went to grab spoons when I realized they were all dirty. I debated which was worse – using plastic spoons or taking dirty spoons out of dishwasher to wash and then dry. I made the rapid response of going plastic.

So there we were eating ice cream in 50 year old, gold-plated china with plastic spoons. I held up my soup bowl and said, “This is in honor of old neighbors and new neighbors.” And we all had a good laugh. And even though there was a quite a bit of awkward and risk getting there I was glad we pushed through it all.